- Nearly one-third (29.8%) of respondents to a recent Deloitte Advisory poll believe that employees may be the most overlooked stakeholder when an organization is dealing with a crisis.
- As crises become a more frequent occurrence, employers need to understand that maximizing the potential resources of their employees can have a significant impact on their ability to anticipate, prepare for and respond to an incident.
- From natural disasters to terror threats, understanding the psychology of human behavior in response to such incidents is important and should be factored into crisis contingency planning, according to Deloitte.
When a crisis arises, responding and coordinating with regulators, law enforcement and customers is imperative but leadership must also have a plan to inform and utilize employees, says Rhoda Woo, principal in Deloitte Advisory strategic risk services, Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Woo explains that a good crisis response plan should include communicating to employees as well as addressing their involvement and interactions during and after an incident. They are a valuable asset to an organization, particularly in dealing with customers, generating goodwill, and aiding the company in the overall recovery process.
Some ways to do that, Deloitte notes, include building a culture of trust and confidence, adopting an inclusive approach to planning, keeping employees informed during a crisis, and providing contining support.
Another is to utilize employees as "sensors" to prevent and anticipate further crises, as employees can be an asset to executives in early identification and escalation of potential crises.